Breath of the Wild 2 is Nintendo’s biggest upcoming game, but it’s not coming out anytime soon. Nintendo announced the sequel all the way back in 2019, with a spooky teaser that dropped jaws. Though the game was provisionally slated to release in late 2022, on March 29, Nintendo announced that the still-untitled sequel will now launch in spring 2023.
This is everything you need to know about the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
When will Breath of the Wild 2 come out?
At E3 2021, Nintendo confirmed it aimed to release Breath of the Wild 2 in 2022. However, on March 29, 2022, series producer Eiji Aonuma revealed the sequel would not be released until spring 2023.
While Nintendo’s “Launch Timing Update” video from March 2022 included little new footage, we did get an intriguing new shot of Link holding a gnarly, seemingly corrupted version of the iconic Master Sword, which has the appearance of licking flames at the end of the blade, and appears to be imbued with some kind of powerful energy.
Is there a new Breath of the Wild 2 trailer?
The March 29 announcement did not include a new trailer. The most recent trailer for the game was shown off last summer, at E3 2021. It shows Link gliding and falling through the air, revealing that players will be able to explore islands in the sky. It also highlights some of the new powers Link will have at his disposal, including one that allows him to phase through objects.
It’s an exciting trailer and way more revealing than the mysterious teaser from E3 2019. You can check it out below.
If you want a refresher on that very first trailer from 2019, we’ve also included it here.
What is the Breath of the Wild 2 story?
The E3 2021 trailer didn’t confirm much in the way of new story details, nor did the March 2022 delay announcement. Still, we believe that Breath of the Wild 2 will follow up after the events of Breath of the Wild. The announcement trailer hints at a darker tone during certain parts of the adventure as Link and Zelda team-up. It also looks like players will be staying in Hyrule based on the trailer.
It’s unclear exactly what’s happening in the trailer, but plenty of fans have guessed that Link and Zelda may have discovered the dried-up corpse of Ganondorf deep below Hyrule Castle. Assuming that’s the case, it seems something will go wrong, freeing the villain from whatever spell had been used to contain him and plunging Hyrule into darkness yet again.
One thing’s for sure, BOTW 2 looks a lot spookier than the previous game. If that sounds similar to Majora’s Mask, the bizarre and beloved sequel to Nintendo’s groundbreaking Zelda game Ocarina of Time you’re not entirely wrong.
Like Ocarina of Time, which moved the franchise from top-down 2D graphics to a three-dimensional world, Breath of the World broke the old linear formula to create an open-world experience. This sequel could do something similar to Majora’s Mask, taking everything its immediate predecessor accomplished and injecting an extra dose of weirdness.
However, as IGN reported from E3, you shouldn’t expect to see too much of Majora’s Mask in Breath of the Wild 2.
Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma was only able to share this with IGN at E3 2019: “The new Breath of the Wild, or the sequel to it […] it’s not necessarily going to be related to Majora’s Mask or inspired by it,” he remarked, continuing, “What we showed you currently is a little darker.”
What will Breath of the Wild 2 gameplay be like?
Judging from the footage shown during and since E3 2021, the sequel looks very similar to the first game, with players exploring a large open world, fighting enemies, and solving puzzles along the way. That said, there are a ton of islands floating in the sky above Hyrule now, and Link will be able to explore them. These parts of the game definitely call back to Skyward Sword.
In an IGN report, Aonuma opened up about what other games inspired the sequel creators: “I did hear that a lot of people were playing was Red Dead Redemption 2,” he said.
There is a chance the influences of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be felt within the world of the Breath of the Wild sequel since other games played by creative team members during Breath of the Wild’s production are arguably felt in that game.
For example, Aonuma recalled to IGN, “When I was working on Breath of the Wild, the director [Hidemaro Fujibayashi] was playing Skyrim.” As players of both Breath of the Wild and Skyrim can attest, there are certainly similarities in the feel, setting, and rules of these open, fantasy worlds. The same could certainly go for Breath of the Wild 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
It’s unclear exactly what that might mean, even now that we’ve seen gameplay, but it could add up to a more impressive story (Breath of the Wild’s plot was a little lackluster) and even better horse mechanics (though BOTW’s horses were already great).
Will Breath of the Wild 2 launch with a Switch Pro?
One of the bigger rumors circulating is that Nintendo might release Breath of the Wild 2 alongside a new Switch model. That seems like a logical conclusion considering that the first game launched with the current Switch model. The reality here? Don’t get your hopes up.
Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch OLED model, ending any rumors of an upgraded piece of Nintendo hardware. While it’s always possible that Nintendo could release a new system in 2022 or 2023, the Switch is doing just fine.
Omdia Senior Analyst George Jijiashvili tells Inverse, “Based on how Nintendo tends to operate, I believe it would release Breath of the Wild 2 when it thinks it’s ready, instead of syncing it up with a new hardware launch.”
Previous versions of this article were written by Allie Gemmill and Giovanni Colantonio.
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